I'm not sure how to compete with Brent's "HUGE NEWS" post, but I'll give it a go. We just got back from Myrtle Beach with Brent's family and it was a great trip. I promise to post pictures some time this week. In the meantime, I'll share a story about this amazing dream I had a while back. I've told this dream to several people, but I wanted to post it here anyway. It's a reminder that God is still working and intimately involved in our lives. And not in a meddling or puppet strings kind of way, but in a way that shows how immensely He loves us and wants to take care of us. I'm typing it out because I want to share and I want to remember. When I'm homesick or wondering why we in the world we so violently shook up our lives, I will look back to this dream and remember that God put us here for a reason.
First some background. This winter was a little rocky, to say the least. Brent's an auditor and undergoes this horrendous busy season every year. It's four (but really more like five) months of late nights and working 7 days a week. He would come home at 10:30 or 11:00 pm, and still have work to do from home. He's exhausted, I'm bitter, and the strain inevitably leads to ridiculously petty fights. Additionally we found out there was a huge issue with our gutters - after 6 months in the house we were told we had around $25K of repairs. Our microwave broke, our living room ceiling was stained from the leaking, our basement had a plumbing problem, our cars had issues, Walter almost broke my nose and shredded a 32 pack of toilet paper rolls, I locked myself out of the car - twice. It just felt like we were being hit from all sides.
In May I was having lunch with a friend and we had this good discussion about the difference between spending time alone because you're depressed, and spending time alone to restore yourself. I was saying how some people are energized by being around others, and some people need alone time to re-energize and get filled back up before their next social thing.
That night I had a dream that my friend Kim was throwing me a going away party. The colors for the party were lavender and cream, and it was more like a shower because only girls were invited. It was very fancy, which makes sense because Kim would throw a cute party like this. There were these pretty cream boxes with purple ribbons and they all had the date we were moving printed on them. We were all sitting around the table, and one of my best friends Elizabeth was saying how much she was going to miss us (aw, I'll miss you too, Elizabeth :). Then she said: "Remember that conversation we had yesterday about being restored? God told me that this time in the Caymans is a gift to you. He is giving it to you because He loves you so much. He knows you are coming out of a hard season, and he will use this 20 months to restore and re-energize you for what comes next."
I woke up the next morning and remembered every little detail of this dream (months later I still remember it perfectly). I told Brent all about it, and said I have never been more sure that something was a direct word from God. It's neat because even though Elizabeth was not the friend I initially had the "restoration" conversation with, she is exactly the person I would most expect to give me a word from God.
Here's what I got from the dream:
I love that God views our time in the Caymans as a gift of His love. That touches my heart so deeply. I'm not naively believing that every day on the island will be like a vacation or a Jack Johnson music video. I know there will be hard days and sad days and fights and busy season. But I will remember to be grateful and to love the moment I'm in, because this is God's gift. I also really love that He said He is restoring us for what comes next. Brent and I assume we'll be in family-starting mode when we come back, and there will be the adventure of raising kids. But it could also mean some other life change, a new job or mission, a new passion God wants us to go at full force. I'm so excited for both seasons and all that God has in store for us. It's neat to think how God already knows our whole story from start to end and orchestrated everything in a certain order - because He loves us, because He knows what we need, because He wants us to grow, because He knows what's best. It's an extremely humbling thing.